Read the latest on the Maine shootings
Joseph M. Eaton allegedly shot and killed his parents and their friends in Bowdoin after he was released Friday from a Maine prison.
The Maine State Police identified the victims found in a home at 1459 Augusta Road and the three who were wounded just over an hour later in a random Tuesday shooting on an Interstate 295 exit ramp 25 miles away in Yarmouth. Eaton, 34, was apprehended there.
Cynthia R. Eaton, 63, and David Lee Eaton, 66, both of Ocala, Florida, Joseph Eaton’s parents, and the other couple, Robert C. Eger Jr., 72, and Patricia Deraps Eger, 62, who owned the home, died at the Eger home, Col. William Ross of the state police said at a Wednesday news conference.
remembering the egers
Their bodies were found about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday morning but police have not said when they died. The Maine medical examiner’s office determined that all four deaths were homicides. The Eatons and Patricia Eger were found dead inside the house, and David Eaton was found in a garage, Ross said.
Someone who knew the Egers but had not been able to reach anyone at the home drove there to try and make contact, Ross said. This family member entered the home, discovered a victim and called the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office.
Joseph Eaton was charged Tuesday with four counts of murder. He had not been charged in the Yarmouth shootings as of Wednesday afternoon but is expected to be, town police said.
Those wounded on the exit ramp are Sean Halsey, 51, and his two children, Justin Halsey, 29, and Paige Halsey, 25, all of Bowdoinham. Paige Halsey is still in critical condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland, police said. The men suffered non-life threatening injuries.
attempt to intervene
Eaton was firing randomly at cars he believed to be police following him and struck three other vehicles traveling on the interstate, Ross said. No one else was injured. Eaton was found in a wooded area about 10:50 a.m. near the Exit 15 southbound ramp.
Joseph Eaton was released from the Maine Correctional Facility in Windham on Friday at the end of a sentence for violating probation on a domestic violence assault charge dating back to 2015, police said. Upon his release, his mother, Cynthia Eaton, met him at the prison and brought him to Bowdoin to stay with the Egers, Ross said.
Eaton was taken to Maine Medical Center where he was medically cleared and transported to the Portland Police Department where an interview was conducted, according to police. Ross said Eaton confessed to killing his parents and their friends in Bowdoin.
Eaton is being held without bail at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. He is charged with four counts of murder. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance before a judge at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in West Bath District Court.
He has a long and violent criminal history in Maine and also has convictions in Florida for assaulting a firefighter and a police officer, as well as for illegal drug use. Neither his parents or the Egers were victims of his crimes before this week, according to court records.
Attorneys Andrew Wright of Brunswick and David Paris of Bath have been appointed to represent Eaton. Wright declined Wednesday to comment on the case.
If convicted of murder, Joseph Eaton faces between 25 years and life in prison. Under Maine law, judges may impose life sentences on defendants convicted of multiple homicides.